Boys tennis roundup: NLS senior earns a state berth

The Wildcats' Kenneth Schmiesing takes second place after a long day in the Section 8A individual tournament in Crookston

Tribune's boys tennis roundup
Tribune graphic / Kit Grode

CROOKSTON — Kenneth Schmiesing is headed to the state boys tennis tournament.

The New London-Spicer senior did it the hard way Wednesday, coming through the losers’ bracket to win the true-second match in the Section 8A individual tournament at Crookston High School.

“The best things in life don’t come easy,” NLS head coach Chad Schmiesing said. “Today was a proud-to-be-a-coach day as well as a proud-to-be-a-father day.”

Kenneth Schmiesing lost in the semifinals to top-seeded Isaac Maddock of Osakis 6-0, 6-1. Maddock ended up winning the section title.

Schmiesing then beat No. 3 Isaac Thomforde of Crookston 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-2 in a match that took two hours and 45 minutes.


After that, he defeated Jett Cornelius, the No. 2 seed from team tournament champion Thief River Falls, 6-3, 6-2 to earn a state berth.

“Kenny’s mental toughness today was the best I’ve ever seen from him,” Chad Schmiesing said. “His physical endurance was also a major factor in advancing today.

“I’m just so happy for him.”

Also in 8A, Minnewaska’s Drew Bleick and Carte LeClair lost in the semifinals to Thief River Falls’ JJ Cornelius and Geran Gonsorowski 6-3, 6-3. Bleick and LeClair wound up third in the section when they beat Perham’s Brekken Wokasch and Mason Happel 6-3, 6-2.

The top two individuals and top two doubles teams advance to the state meet June 8-9 at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

Section 8A will be represented in doubles by Thief River Falls’ Rhett Janisch and Reece Janisch, who beat Prowlers’ teammates Cornelius and Gonsorowski. Cornelius and Gonsorowski won the true-second match to advance.

Section 2A

Litchfield’s Alex Draeger and Braden Olson have advanced to the semifinals of the Section 2A individual tournament at the Swanson Center on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus in St. Peter.

The top-seeded seniors had a first-round bye, then beat St. Peter’s Tyson Schmit and Ben Taylor 6-0, 6-0 to advance.


Draeger and Olson play St. James’ Andrei Rivera and Brennan Kern in today’s semifinals in St. Peter. Rivera and Kern are the fourth seed.

The other semifinal features St. Peter’s Will Eliias and Anders Dixon, the No. 2 seed, versus Southwest Christian’s Garrett Lyles and Sean Johnson.

Nathan Wuotila and Josh Blomberg, Litchfield’s other doubles team, beat Brady Nelson and Cooper Strezo of Holy Family Catholic 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the first round before falling to Lyles and Johnson in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-4.

Litchfield’s Gray Johnson and Lincoln Dille both lost their first-round matches in singles competition. Johnson fell to sixth-seeded Jamie Johnson of Blue Earth 6-1, 6-2. Dille lost to eighth-seeded Owen Collins of Holy Family Catholic 6-2, 6-3.

Tom Elliott has been the sports editor at the West Central Tribune since September 2019.
Contact him at or leave a message at 320-235-1150.
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